About Solution Focused Therapy

What kind of therapy is best for you and your individual needs? If you are focused on solving a problem or attaining a goal then short-term therapy might be the right choice. Solution Focused Brief Therapy or SFBT, often referred to as simply "solution focused therapy" or "brief therapy" is a type of psychotherapy that is based upon social constructionist philosophy. It focuses on what clients want to achieve through therapy rather than on the problem(s) that made them seek help. This particular approach does not focus on the past, but instead, focuses on the present and future goals of the client. In that way, it is a goal-oriented therapy. The therapist or counselor uses respectful curiosity to invite the client to envision their preferred future, and then together, they begin to attend to possible moves and action steps that moves the client closer towards their goal a reality. To support this, questions are asked about the client’s story, strengths and resources, and about exceptions to the problem. In many ways, Solution Focused Brief Therapy is very similar to the process of life coaching.

Solution focused therapists believe that change is constant, and pay attention to progress, whether large or small. By helping people identify the things that they wish to change in their life and also to attend to those things that are currently happening that they wish to continue to have happen, SFBT therapists help their clients to construct a concrete vision of a preferred future for themselves. The solution-focused therapist then helps the client identify situations and processes in their current life that are closer to this future, and examines what is different on these occasions. By bringing these small successes to their awareness, and helping them to repeat these successful things they do when the problem is not there or less severe, the therapist helps the client move towards the preferred future that they have identified as a goal.

Solution focused work can be seen as a way of working that focuses exclusively or predominantly on two things. 1) Supporting people to explore their preferred futures. 2) Exploring when, where, with whom and how pieces of that preferred future are already happening. While this is often done using a social constructionist perspective, the approach is practical and can be achieved with no specific theoretical framework beyond the intention to keep as close as possible to these two things. ~Wikipedia

One of the main tools of solution-focused therapy is the "Miracle Question." In this query, a therapist will ask a question designed to hone in on a feasible, effective solution. The client will be asked to imagine how he would feel if he woke up to find that his problem was gone. This question leads to an exploration of what steps the client would take and what changes could be observed if this "miracle" occurred.

NYC Therapist Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a skilled Psychotherapist, Relationship and Stress Reduction Expert in New York City. She provides therapy, EMDR & Coaching to individuals and couples.